Demonstrations and Mass Violent Events in the USSR, 1987-1992

An event dataset on 6,663 protest demonstrations and 2,177 mass violent events across the entire territory of the former Soviet Union from January 1, 1987 through December 31, 1992, as utilized in the book Nationalist Mobilization and the Collapse of the Soviet State (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2002).

Two versions of the dataset are available for download: 1) a version that is disaggregated at the event level; and 2) a version that is aggregated at the level of the main nationalities of event participants.

The disaggregated data consists of separate files for mass demonstrations and mass violent events and includes information on: the starting date of the event; its duration and location; the population size of the location; the type of event; estimates of the number of participants; the nationality of participants; the demands articulated during the action (or in the case of mass violent events, the ostensible causes of violence); the organizer of the event (if any); the targets of the action; whether the action was authorized by the authorities; levels of repression against participants; the number of deaths, injuries, and arrests associated with the action; the intensity of mass violence; the types of weapons deployed; and the sources utilized for coding the event.

The aggegated data by nationality of participants includes information on the total number of demonstrations raising ethnonationalist issues by nationality (and the total number of participants in them); survival data by nationality used in Nationalist Mobilization and the Collapse of the Soviet State to analyze early and later risers; the number of mass violent events involving the nationality; the nationality's population size; the type of ethnofederal unit to which it belonged; its degree of linguistic assimilation; its degree of urbanization; the total number of protests (and the total number of participants in these protests) involving the nationality during the 1965-1986 period, as well as the number of mass violent events during this period that involved the nationality; the total number of separatist demonstrations (and the total number of participants in them) during the glasnost' period; whether the nationality possessed an independent state during the interwar period; and the number of political exiles per thousand population of the nationality in 1953.

The codebooks for the disaggregated and aggregated versions of the dataset contain discussions of the data collection process, definitions, and detailed information on the coding of each of the fields in the dataset.